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Budget and Taxes

In Governor’s Budget, Tax Cuts Go Mostly to People with Lowest Incomes

April 5, 2021 — Governor Evers’ proposed budget includes changes that would reshape Wisconsin’s tax code to give less of an advantage to wealthy and powerful interests, by reining in wasteful tax breaks for the rich and redirecting some of the benefits to the middle class and people with low incomes.

State tax policies can be a powerful tool for expanding opportunity and enhancing racial equity. But Wisconsin’s tax system is a major driver of economic inequality and contributes to the increasing concentration of income and wealth in a few hands —hands that are most likely to be white, due to a long history of racial discrimination.

Governor’s Proposed Budget for Health Care

March 18, 2021 — Governor Evers has proposed an ambitious budget for health care that increases access to care and coverage by expanding BadgerCare, increases funding for hospitals and other providers, invests in maternal and infant health and health equity, and provides more support for public health. It also increases access to dental services, makes health insurance more affordable, invests in caregiving and the caregiver workforce, and recommends rate increases for behavioral providers as well as a regional approach to crisis support.

Governor Proposes Change to Boost Revenue and Improve Tax Equity

March 4, 2021 — The Governor’s budget proposes significant changes in tax policy, including closing income tax loopholes that favor the rich and powerful, and increasing tax credits for low-income households. These changes enable the budget to make large investments that will improve our state’s long-term prosperity, while also creating a tax system that provides a more level playing field for Wisconsin businesses and individuals.

Wisconsin Should Help Small Businesses with Targeted Grants, Not PPP Double-Dipping

February 15, 2021 — Wisconsin state lawmakers are rushing to pass a new tax break for businesses, with a minimum of opportunities for public input. The tax cut would significantly reduce the amount of resources Wisconsin has to invest in families, schools, and communities that have been battered by the pandemic and the recession, and it would fail to help many small businesses who are the intended beneficiaries.

Wisconsin’s Property Tax Code, Which Never Mentions Race, is Slanted in Favor of White Wisconsinites

November 12, 2020 — Our state and local tax code does not mention race. And yet it systematically demands that people of color pay a higher share of their income in taxes than white residents, showing that policies don’t have to explicitly mention race in order to have racially discriminatory consequences. The myth that the tax code “doesn’t see color” allows us to dismiss the role that tax policies have played in creating Wisconsin’s enormous racial disparities. 

Some Local Governments Want to Rethink How Police Services are Delivered. This Bill Would Make that Harder.

September 10, 2020 — A Wisconsin Republican Senator has proposed legislation that would prohibit cities and other local governments from saving money by reducing the amount of money they spend on police staffing. This bill would block innovation in how communities address policing, require local governments to double down on budget cuts in other areas of local services, and disenfranchise people of color by allowing predominantly white state lawmakers to overrule the choices made by local government officials in communities of color. 

Evers Proposes Investments in Public Assistance to Cushion the Health and Economic Crisis

April 9, 2020 — The COVID-19 pandemic is creating severe economic hardship for many Wisconsinites, and especially for those who were already furthest from opportunity. It has helped reveal the stark disparities in our nation, particularly for people of color, because it has amplified the disparities and has given them potentially fatal consequences. To help ease the disastrous health and economic consequences of the pandemic, Governor Evers has proposed a number of budget increases and policy changes in the state’s public assistance programs.

Despite Growing Concerns about Opportunity Zones, Wisconsin Legislators Rush to Pass a Bill Doubling the State Tax Break

February 18, 2020 — As the 2020 legislative session winds down, the Wisconsin Legislature is rushing to pass a bill this week (SB 440)/AB 532) that would double a current state tax break for very wealthy investors who reinvest money in “Opportunity Zones.” A new Budget Project issue brief explains why the existing tax breaks for the rich are not having the intended effects and why it’s premature to increase those tax breaks.

The Top Ten Problems with Increasing Opportunity Zone Tax Breaks

February 18, 2020 — Wisconsin legislators are considering a bill that would double a capital gains tax break approved two years ago, which was intended to encourage very wealthy people to invest in “distressed” areas.  Although that strategy for incentivizing investments in “Opportunity Zones” was well intended, commentators across the political spectrum have noted that implementation of the recently enacted tax incentives has gone off course and will primarily benefit rich Americans, rather than the residents of low-income communities.

21632163Evers’ Budget Provides Tax Cuts for Working Families, Ensures Wealthiest Wisconsinites Pay What They Owe 16411641Eliminating Wisconsin’s Income Tax Would Give Huge Tax Cuts to the Wealthy and Powerful 16351635Wisconsin Legislators Fail to Invest Any New State Funds in Early Education 16471647Tax Changes in Budget Bill Thwart Efforts to Advance Equity 16271627Wisconsin Lawmakers Directed Far More Resources to an Income Tax Cut than Other Critical Priorities 16481648Opportunity Wasted: Legislature Removes Nearly All Items Promoting Racial Equity from the State Budget 17291729A Decade After Historic Cuts, Wisconsin Still Hasn’t Fully Restored State Aid for Public School Districts, New Report Shows